Q1.   What is the Byodoin sect?

Byodoin is an independent temple that does not belong to any existing sects.
In Byodoin, there are Jodoin of Jodo-shu sect and Saishoin belonging to the Tendai-shu sect and it is managed by both temples.

Q2.   When was Byodoin built?

In 1052, the beginning of the so-called decadent age when Buddhism was thought to be dying out, Fujiwara no Yorimichi rebuilt the villa into a temple and named it Byodoin.

Q3.   Why was the word “Byodo” (equal) adopted?

It means the saving of Buddha extends equally to everyone. The equality of Buddha is expressed by light. Byodoin is the temple of light.

Q4.   Tell us the reason for Hoo-do being chosen as the design of the 10 yen coin and in what year was it chosen?

It is a cultural property representing Japan and the building has unique features. It was chosen in 1951.

Q5.   Is Hoo-do Shinden-zukuri style architecture?

No. Shinden-zukuri style architecture faces to the south and the garden and pond. People can go to a fishing house from the main house through the corridor and side house, but Hoo-do faces to the east and as the corridors on the right and left are for decorative purposes, people cannot walk through.

Q6.   When was the previous repair of Hoo-do conducted?

Major repairs of Hoo-do were conducted from 1902 to 1907, from 1950 to 1957 and from 2012 to 2014.

Q7.   Which direction does Hoo-do face?

It is built facing to the east. It receives morning sunshine in the front.

Q8.   What is the size of Hoo-do?

The height (excluding Phoenix) is about 13.5m, width (north and south) is about 47m and depth (east and west) is about 35m.

Q9.   What is the purpose of the wing corridors (for what reason)?

It is the design of the palace of Amida Nyorai as the motif and not for practical purposes.

Q10.   As for the features of Amida Nyorai (Amitabha Tathagata), why does it have such long ears, spiral hair, beard and whorl of white hair?

They are among the 32 great physical features, which show that Nyorai is a super-human being.
You can look at the image of Amida Nyorai Seated Statue and the detailed description here.

Q11.   What kinds of instruments are held by Unchu Kuyo Bosatsu (Buddhist Saints holding a mass in the clouds)?

They play 18 instruments including drum, Shinto flute, Japanese harp and Japanese lute, etc.
You can look at the image of Unchu Kuyo Bosatsu Statue and the detailed description here.

Q12.   Tell us about the artificial Buddha hung on the halo of the Amida Nyorai Seated Statue.

They are Dainichi Nyorai and Hiten who made Chikenin (fist of wisdom mudra) at the top of the head. They are also called Artificial Buddha of 12 Shining Buddha.

Q13.   What is the difference in phoenixes on the right and left?

Hoo generally refers to a pair of male Ho and female O, but there is no difference in the Hoo of Byodoin.

Q14.   How old are the wisteria flowers of Byodoin?

They are said to be about 280 years old.

Q15.   Tell us about the grass and flowers in Byodoin.

From late April to the beginning of May, wisteria and azalea blossom and in May, we have water lilies, lotus, and autumn leaves, sasanqua (camellia) and Japanese camellia, etc.